Lucid Dream Therapy: 

Skills Development Workshop for Professionals

Monday, June 18, 2018, 9-11am

At the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD), June 16-20, 2018

Scottsdale, AZ

Lucid dreaming is an innovative therapeutic tool with the potential to assist in many complex challenges encountered in psychotherapy. In contrast to the default cognitive state during ordinary dreaming, it is explicitly known when lucid that the present state of consciousness is a dream. In this state, it is possible to experience a greater sense of safety and cognitive flexibility that encourages more adaptive interactions with unconscious conflicts represented in dream content.  As lucid dreaming is a natural capacity that can be strengthened with training, therapists can further client growth by integrating lucid dreaming into evidence-based practices for nightmares and various clinical disorders of a wide severity range.


In this workshop, clinical psychologist Kristen LaMarca will provide an overview of lucid dreaming, its applications, and how to address common obstacles faced by therapists in implementing lucid dream therapy.  Supporting research and theory of lucid dreaming as a psychotherapeutic agent and the most effective induction methods known to date will be reviewed. Experiential and role play exercises, case examples, and didactic discussions will guide attendees in how to train and educate clients in lucid dreaming while facilitating therapeutic processing and integration of lucid dream experiences.  Practical issues such as patient selection, assigning home skills practice, and population-specific considerations will be incorporated into discussions. 

Understanding the meaning of dreams can be a fruitful component of lucid dream therapy, though it is neither a requirement for effective lucid dreaming nor a main focus of this workshop.  This presentation will adhere to IASD ethical standards, including any material related to dream interpretation.  The class is interactive though attendees have a choice in how much they would like to contribute.  Strictly lecture-based material will account for about a quarter of the allotted time. This workshop is designed for clinicians who are using or are interested in lucid dreaming as a form of treatment, although other researchers, educators, and personal practitioners of lucid dreaming may find the information presented useful.  Target audience: Intermediate.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Summarize the theoretical and research support underlying lucid dreaming and its applications.

  2. Describe the advantages of adding a lucid dreaming component to standard Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for nightmares.

  3. Train others in induction and other lucid dreaming skills.


Kristen LaMarca PhD is a clinical health psychologist with expertise in applied psychophysiology and behavioral treatments for sleep disorders, notably insomnia and nightmares. She specializes in lucid dream therapy for a broad range of psychological issues. She has been teaching, researching, and practicing lucid dreaming for over 10 years.  

See IASD website for details on registering for the conference.